James Anderson has spelled out England’s intention to inflict a first-ever Ashes whitewash on Australia this summer.
It has been an unspoken ambition for Alastair Cook’s team so far, to make good on the predictions of former Ashes-winner Ian Botham - among others - to beat the old enemy 5-0.
But after England went 2-0 up with their 347-run trouncing of Australia at Lord’s, and as he anticipates the prospect of completing a third successive Ashes series win on his home ground at Old Trafford next week, fast bowler Anderson has broken ranks.
The tourists pushed England hard in the first Investec Test at Trent Bridge, where a tireless Anderson had to bowl 13 consecutive overs on the final morning and ended up taking Australia’s last four wickets to hold on by 14 runs to take a 1-0 lead.
It was a very different story at Lord’s, though, where England recovered from a blip on the first morning - when they were 28 for three - to dominate the match on the back of Ian Bell and Joe Root’s centuries and nine wickets for off-spinner Graeme Swann.
Anderson still expects Australia to show plenty more fight, but has no time for those who have begun to feel sorry for Michael Clarke’s team after their at times hapless display at HQ.
“I don’t really feel any sympathy,” Anderson said.
“We want to win the series 5-0, so we will be doing everything we can in each game to win.”
It will be a dream scenario for Anderson, of course, if he can help clinch the urn on his home ground.
A third successive Ashes series victory has not been achieved by England since all-rounder and all-time leading Test wicket-taker Botham thrillingly turned the 1981 series in their favour - including a famous century in Manchester.
For Anderson, there is no place like home.
He has a very modest record across the Pennines in Leeds, and has so far played only three Tests at the ground where he learned his trade with Lancashire.
“Cricket is huge in the north, and I hate Headingley, so it is good to play a Test at Old Trafford,” he said of a venue which has undergone a much-needed transformation in recent years.
“There is so much history at the ground.
“It was in need of a lick of paint, and it got that and a little more - so I think it is going to be an amazing atmosphere.”